September 11, 2017 – Winrock International contributed significantly to the development of Ghana’s Emission Reduction Program which has become part of the portfolio of the Carbon Fund of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, making it eligible to receive performance-based payments for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Ghana is the second country to be fully included in the Carbon Fund on its first attempt, following Chile’s acceptance earlier this year, also supported by Winrock.
Ghana’s determination to stem the rapid loss of our forest cover has received a major boost with the endorsement of our premier Emission Reduction Program by the Carbon Fund Participants,” says Yaw Kwakye, Head of the Climate Change Unit, Ghana Forestry Commission/National Focal Point for REDD+. “This important milestone could not have been reached without the solid partnerships built and sustained over the years with key collaborators such as Winrock International.”
“The process leading to the development of Ghana’s Cocoa Forest REDD+ Program ushered in a new dawn of unprecedented collaboration amongst various stakeholder groups from the government, civil society organizations, traditional authorities and local communities,” says Kwame Agyei, a Ghana Forestry Commission REDD+ specialist. “The acceptance of Ghana’s program for receipt of performance-based REDD+ payments by the Carbon Fund therefore offers an important pathway for key stakeholders to collectively work towards reducing deforestation, enhancing environmental integrity and improving livelihoods of cocoa farmers and local communities in a gender-responsive manner.”
Since 2009, Winrock International and the Ghana Forestry Commission have been providing the technical support and guidance for Ghana to develop a subnational REDD+ program in the country’s high forest zone where cocoa is grown. Through close collaboration with national counterparts, the Winrock team developed a comprehensive forest reference level, including emissions from deforestation, legal and illegal logging, forest fires and wood fuel collection, as well as carbon dioxide removals from reforestation. Winrock also supported the submission of a separate national reference level to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which included the same set of REDD+ activities.
“Our partners in Ghana’s national government have demonstrated great dedication to emissions reduction,” says Winrock International Ecosystem Services Director Dr. Timothy Pearson. “Ghana has huge potential to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while increasing tree cover and improving the livelihoods of Ghanaians. We are proud to be part of Ghana’s success.”
Winrock is also helping Ghana develop an online data management system to collect data and track emissions reductions. The Ghana Forestry Commission will use the database to maintain records of key data and information on program activities and environmental indicators. Winrock is working to ensure that the online data management system will offer a robust and transparent means to track and issue benefits associated with the REDD+ program.
Ghana’s Emission Reductions Program Document is available here